I encountered an interesting paper - "An emperical comparison of C, C++, Java, Perl, Python, Rexx, and Tcl for a search/string processing program". Basicly the same task was given to a number of programmers, and then various parameters such as time to analyze the task, write the code, reliability, performance, memory consumption etc were compared. The results are in line of what I would expect for the specific task. Perl got the best score for the time to develop the code, while C/C++ had the best performance and memory footprint. Java performance was lower than I would expect, but that can be explained that the report is circa 2000 and nowadays JVMs should have much better performance.